Rosé Wine

Often regarded as a summer sipping wine, rosé actually has a lot to offer in regard to food pairings, especially when it comes to Japanese cuisine which prizes versatility due to the large variety of dishes presented in a traditional meal. With enough acidity to match seafood as well as the fruitiness and extra body to support meat dishes, rosé wine is a welcome mediator for Japanese food, regardless of the weather!

While there are too many grape varieties and wine regions throughout the world to discuss individually, one can generalize and group wines into several categories for the sake of matching with food. Below, you’ll find the major styles of rosé wine along with examples of appellations which fit into those categories, and their usual price points ($ – under $15,  $$ – between $15 and $50, $$$ – over $50).

Light Rosé

Light in both color and body, these elegant rosé wines show similar food pairing aptitudes as white wines. With their balanced acidity and subtle fruit aromas, they are ideal for sushi and other delicate seafood, but also show well with lighter meat preparations. In fact, their true strength is versatility, and opening a rosé is often the best solution when serving a variety of dishes in traditional Japanese fashion.

Best pairings: sushi (salmon, toro, uni), shouga-yaki (ginger pork), salmon shioyaki

$ : Côtes de Provence, Bourgogne rosé, German Weissherbst, Swiss Dôle

$$ : Sancerre, Marsannay

Full-Bodied Rosé

Mas Jullien LanguedocThese dark rosés from warmer climates tend to offer more weight and pronounced fruit aromas. While they can still pair successfully with certain fish (such as maguro), it is best to consider them as light reds and serve them alongside meats.

Best pairings: sushi (maguro), gyuu no tataki (raw beef), yakitori/kushiyaki (skewers), shouyu yosenabe (hotpot),

$ : Côtes du Rhône, Languedoc-Rousillon, Bordeaux Clairet, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo Cerasuolo, Spain, New World

$$ : Bandol, Tavel, Lirac

Off-Dry Rosé

With the added sweetness and intense fruitiness of an off-dry rosé, preparations involving sugar or sweet sauce become more appropriate.

Best pairings: amaebi sushi, okonomiyaki, unagi/anago, tsukune yakitori in tare sauce (ground chicken)

$ : Rosé d’Anjou, White Zinfandel, German Weissherbst halbtrocken

Sparkling Rosé

See here.

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